What is digital marketing? - Dooley Communications

Digital marketing is one of those terms that seems to mean different things to different people. That’s largely because the field has grown so rapidly over the past two decades to encompass so many different tools and tactics.

When we say digital marketing, we mean any online tactic aimed at building a brand or driving more sales. Here’s a partial list of some of the most common digital marketing tactics today:

  • Search advertising (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
    • Those text ads that appear at the top of your search results. When you click them, someone somewhere is paying.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • A bundle of tactics from developing content to metadata and linking strategies that help improve your organic search results for certain keywords.
  • Social media management
    • Building online communities with strong, authentic content and engagement.
  • Paid social media advertising
    • Just what it sounds like: advertising you pay for on social media platforms. You can target just any audience anywhere and be able to quantify if they’re hearing you.
  • Website
    • Can’t forget about your site. It’s the centerpiece.
  • Brand journalism
    • A cousin to content marketing, brand journalism develops text, video and photographic stories about your organization and presents it in the same fashion as online magazines, broadcasters and other media outlets. Usually paired with social media, email marketing and media relations efforts.
  • Landing pages
    • Standalone web pages, frequently created for specific advertising campaigns. They often have a single call to action.
  • Email marketing
    • Don’t discount email. A good opt-in email list is GOLD. Manage it well, grasshopper.
  • Content marketing
    • Usually combined with email marketing, content marketing lures visitors to your website with keyword rich, valuable content. All those ebooks you’ve downloaded? That’s content marketing. This is a tool for the sales department as well as the marketing department and is often integrated with a CRM tool.
  • Programmatic advertising
    • Remember that ad you saw last time you played Words with Friends? That was served to you by a robot that decided you fit the profile for the advertiser’s target demographic. Programmatic advertising serves display and video ads to millions of apps and websites.
  • Native advertising
    • Also known as advertorials or sponsored content. This content often lives on media sites masquerading as news stories.
  • Retargeting
    • This is that creepy thing where you’re followed around the web by ads promoting a website you visited this morning.
  • SMS notifications
    •  Ever walk through a mall and get a text message offering you a discount at a nearby store?

The list can go on and on.

If you’re developing marketing and communications campaigns today, you need to be aware of the tools you have at your disposal. What is best for your organization? How will you manage it? How will you integrate the tech into your existing procedures?

Our strengths are with website, social and search strategies (especially brand journalism), but we’ve had to learn about everything on that list. Because we’re channel agnostic, we are free to pick the tools and tactics that work best for each one of our clients. Sometimes that means calling in outside experts to help.

About the author

Adam Dooley has more than 25 years of public relations and corporate communications experience. He’s developed and executed regional, national and international PR and marketing campaigns. He’s also called in regularly to help clients through crises.

  1. April 13, 2018

    That’s a pretty comprehensive list. And the beauty of digital advertising is you can measure the results from each channel. That way you know which tactic is working so you can spend more on it and which tactic isn’t working so you can stop spending on it.

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